3 On Your Side

Update: Unlicensed contractor returns money

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Dina Zolin got her money back from an unlicensed contractor. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dina Zolin got her money back from an unlicensed contractor. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Ricky Parraz is an unlicensed contractor who runs a company called The Arizona Floor Company. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ricky Parraz is an unlicensed contractor who runs a company called The Arizona Floor Company. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It's not very often 3 On Your Side runs across an unlicensed contractor with a conscious, but that's exactly what Dina Zolin found out first hand."I would have never received this if I didn't contact you,

"I would have never received this if I didn't contact you. I believe that whole hardheartedly," Zolin said.

After nearly two months of waiting and wondering, Zolin finally has her money back, all $6,500.

"It's a cashier’s check for $6,500 made out to Dina Zolin,” Zolin said. 

“So you have all your money back?” Gary Harper said.

“Yes," she replied.

In a recent 3 On Your Side report, we told you how Dina had to hire a second contractor to install new flooring in her home because the first guy she hired took off with her money. Ricky Parraz is an unlicensed contractor who runs a company called The Arizona Floor Company.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Valley woman 'floored' over abandoned project]

According to Zolin, Parraz seemed nice and knowledgeable so back in January, she wrote out two checks to Parraz and his company totaling $8,500.

"I gave him a check for $5,500 for the tile and he wanted half of the labor cost, so I gave him another $3,000 for the labor cost," Zolin said.

But for all that money, Parraz only delivered about $2,000 worth of material, a lot less than she paid for and Zolin says he never came back.

"I was texting him. I called him there was no response. I mean, he just dropped off the face of the earth and he had his number changed," Zolin said.

3 On Your Side got involved and we discovered he lives Gilbert. When we went to his house, a relative claimed he wasn't there, but we left our contact information.

"Can I have him call you?" the relative asked.

“Yes, that's my contact information. Can you tell him that it's urgent and to contact me as soon as possible," Harper said.  

"Can I have your name please?” the relative asked.

“It's on that business card. It's Gary Harper,” Harper replied.

Not long after that visit, 3 On Your Side got a phone call from Parraz, who acknowledged taking Zolin's money and claiming to be embarrassed for pulling his disappearing act.

"I got into a financial situation where I was trying to rob Peter to pay Paul and it was just a bad decision on my part," Parraz said.

"It doesn't really mean anything to me except he robbed Dina to pay Paul," Zolin said.

But listen to this, because the unlicensed contractor did drop off $2,000 worth of tile, he told 3 On Your Side that he would return $6,500 back to Zolin. That certainly sounded fair and you know what, he returned that $6,500 to Zolin in the form of a cashier's check.

"I feel excited. I'm ecstatic, yeah I got my money back!" Zolin said.

Zolin says she can really use that money because she still has to pay the second company that she had to hire to finish the job.

Zolin says she couldn't have done without 3 On Your Side.

"I love you guys, I love you," Zolin said.

Remember, always make sure you always hire someone who is licensed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, that way you're protected. 

Also, avoid handing money over up front to start a job. If a contractor says he needs money to buy flooring, then you pay the flooring company directly.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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